Ping discusses Eli's pass on Kenny, the supercross opening ceremonies announcer dude, and believing in a higher power.


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Just watched the video from Roczen’s GoPro from the Dallas SX. Eli takes Ken’s line away just before the triple. It happens in a split second. Roczen doesn’t seem to panic and adjusts to it just fine. I think I would 💩my pants at that speed. I don’t even like it when some 10-year-old punk on a 65 does that to me on a table top that I wasn’t going to clear anyway. How does the Reaction Time of top pros compare to us mortals? My friend thinks they would be unbeatable at “Whack-A-Mole.” Also, what was your favorite AZ track back in the day?  Canyon, Speedworld or Thrasherland?

Thanks Lee


At first glance it did seem a bit aggressive for Eli; he isn’t known to be a dirty rider at all. But after watching the replay a few times, and watching the camera footage from Roczen’s helmet, this isn’t as bad as it looked. Eli made the pass in the turn before in a clean, assertive way. He didn’t make contact with Kenny, he just turned inside of him and blasted out of the turn. By the time he was going over the dragon’s back he was two bike lengths in front of Roczen, so he assumed he had his choice of line going up the face of the triple. What he didn’t realize was that Ken was blazing fast on the dragon’s back and he closed right back up to Eli’s fender as they approached the triple. Eli moved left to set himself up for the following corner and it forced Ken to back off and double-single into the turn. This probably made Ken mad until he saw the footage, but it was obvious that Eli didn’t know he was that close. No drama here, just great racing. 

Arizona had some fun tracks back in the day. Canyon Raceway was amazing in the 1980’s, but when it was sold the new owners didn’t take as much pride in the track prep and it was just okay. Thrasherland was fun because it was sandy and different, but I think my favorite track was Firebird. It shut down before Thrasherland, I believe, but it had great dirt and it was a fun track.



So, after decades of following the sport and seeing countless interviews and bios for industry insiders…. There is still one identity that remains a mystery to me.   Who IS the “Voice of God” that welcomes thousands of fans to the night show and introduces the top riders when the lights go out? I almost ask this question reluctantly as the anonymity does add to the mysteriousness of the booming, echoing presence in stadiums, year to year.  But I wonder how he has managed to pull it off without a sick day for nearly two decades. Does he spend a day recording in a studio for the entire season? Does he travel to each round and announce live?  Is he a friendly among the industry? Does ANYONE know who he is? Does he talk like that when he is sitting at dinner with his family? Hell, it may even be multiple people, over the years, for all that I know.  I just hope it sticks for years to come. It may get monotonous for people that hear it seventeen times every year, but it still raises the hairs on my neck when I hear “Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to Monster Energy Supercross!”  



The mysterious voice booming down from the stadiums’ sound system every week is a gentleman known as Smokey Mike. He hails from outside Denver and spent 20 years as a long-haul trucker, smoking two packs of Camel unfiltered cigarettes per day. You might be thinking, “Oh, that’s why his voice is so gravely,” but you’d be wrong. Sure, Mike’s lungs look like two hunks of tri-tip that got left on a Traeger grill for four days straight, but his voice sounds like the narrator of Michael Jackson’s Thriller video because he got hit in the throat with a tire iron while soliciting a heavy-set lot lizard at a Flying-J’s truck stop outside of Phoenix. This gal had the breasts of an angel but the temperament of a short-changed New York cabbie in rush hour traffic. It was a terrific blow to the neck and Mike is lucky to be alive. Thankfully, he still makes a pretty decent living doing voice over work for Feld’s supercross and Monster Jam events, as well as calling the action at the female mud wrestling world championships in Syosset, Long Island every summer. Rumor has it that for a carton of smokes and a pack of Luden’s throat lozenges you can get him to leave the outgoing message on your answering machine. True story.


Hey Ping, 

I just finished the Albee show and it was great! And I just wanted to thank you for your honesty and transparency in these interviews, I think that you are able to show a side of MX that most people don’t get to experience. Also, I want to thank you for not being afraid to talk about your faith in Christ, I know it must be like swimming upstream in our culture and, honestly, in this industry, but it’s great to hear. #RolemodelFirefightingBikebreakingPing . And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,” - Hebrews 10:24



Thanks for watching! I always looked up to Albee so much, not just for what he accomplished on a bike, but for the man that he was/is. As you can imagine, there is no shortage of folks making noise about Greg sharing his faith during his show. The simple fact is that we don’t load questions for the guest or steer what they can or can’t talk about. Greg’s faith is a massive part of his life, so of course it’s going to come up! One of the great things about the show is that you get to see what really makes these guys tick; as a fan of the sport, I love that. But the culture in this country is such that everybody gets mad about everything, so I guess I should just expect people to get their panties in a twist over Greg discussing his relationship with Jesus. We have some really cool guests coming up… can’t wait for their shows. Faith, hope and love, brother. 


Do you have a burning question you need answers for? E-mail Ping at ping@vitalmx.com. Want more? Click the @PING tag below to quickly find all the previous columns.

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